Photo Credit: Tim Trad, Unsplash.com

Yoda was wrong . . .

Them’s fightin’ words. Even for me. Because I’m a HUGE Star Wars fan. I remember camping out at the theater to watch the midnight showing of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace back in high school. My friend drove around the parking lot, blasting the infamous theme song for all to hear.

I have idolized the Jedi for years (and continue to do so) because of their remarkable discipline for self-mastery. Heck, to this day (mind you, I’m 38-years-old), I still pretend to open automatic doors at grocery stores by waving my hand and using the “Force.”

Yep. Big fan.

So for me to title this “Yoda is wrong,” I’d better be ready to back it up.

Specifically, I’m referring to this quote . . .

“But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they.”

Anger, fear, and aggression are not the Dark Side.

Yoda was wrong.

They’re emotions. And any humanoid (or similar alien life form) who banishes any emotions is setting themselves up for failure–because we’re feeling beings. It comes with the territory. Maybe, sometimes, anger’s very necessary.

Anger has started remarkable revolutions that changed history towards freedom. And fear may be critical in keeping you alive when going too high on a ladder (past the little “Don’t go above this line” mark) or when driving on a narrow mountain road with no guard rails. Fear helps us pay attention and focus.

Okay. So if anger or fear isn’t the Dark Side, then what is?

Safety (queue the record scratch).

Complacency (what?).

Certainty (Okay, now I’ve gone too far. Even Tony Robbins says that “certainty” is one of the six basic human needs).

To me, the Dark Side is stunted growth, unrealized potential, and the absence of trust.

And those are the Dark Side because they prevent your Light from shining.

All too often we limit our possibility for real growth because we desire “safety.” We maintain the status quo in unfulfilling work and remain “complacent.” Or we believe that paychecks, benefits, and job security will last with indefinite certainty (“the Devil you know is better than the Devil you don’t”).

And in order to grow, we need to experience struggle. Maybe even feel pain, fear, anger, or aggression. For example, show me one bodybuilder who gained muscle by lifting the same weights all the time! Not possible. Yet, how many of us wake up and experience roughly the same day every day? That’s stunted growth and unrealized potential. Why? Because we’re ignoring the fear and the anger. We think that those are signs to turn away. When, in fact, the opposite is true.

How many of us fear starting a business, starting a new career, or asking for help? I know I’ve experienced those things. A bunch.

It wasn’t until I leaned into the fear that significant change happened to me.

“Leaning into fear” is a phrase that we hear a lot. To me, it simply means that we see fear as an indication of growth. Because if I’m afraid of trying, doing, or saying something and try, do, or say it anyway . . . I grow stronger, more confident, and I learn a ton about who I am and what I value.

Okay, cool. So fear can serve us powerfully on the road to change. Where does “trust” come in? Well, that’s where we explore certainty, too. Because too many of us rely on being certain far before taking a leap towards massive change . . .

I will only start a business if I’m sure it’ll work.

I’ll only say something if I know it’ll help or change things.

I’ll only try it if I know I won’t fail.

Blah! How boring! And I know because I’ve had those exact same thoughts go through my head hundreds of times.

It wasn’t until I saw through the illusion of safety, broke free of complacency, and threw certainty out the window and replaced it with unwavering trust in the unknown that I felt a deep, fundamental shift.

I feel afraid and angry every day. But I also feel peace, freedom, joy, faith, trust, and pixie-dust deep wonder: all the things associated with the Light Side of the Force. That’s been my experience of growth, and I wouldn’t trade it in for anything (even with all the doubt I still feel).

How about you?

What would change for you if you stopped playing it SAFE, rattled COMPLACENCY into a thousand pieces, and replaced CERTAINTY with absolute trust?

Crossing the TEA’s

Now, let’s check out the energy levels behind these Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions:

Low-Energy TEA:

  • Thought: I need to feel safe and certain.
  • Emotions: Numb, Comfortable, Okay, Fine, Normal, Missing out
  • Actions: Complacency

High-Energy TEA:

  • Thought: I put unwavering trust in myself and the unknown.
  • Emotions: Fear, Excitement, Anger, Love, Doubt, Joy, Happiness, Curiosity, Nervous, Alive
  • Actions: Look to fear of the unknown as a signpost and take action in the direction of that fear.

Ready to take the leap into the known? Schedule a free discovery call with me and we’ll explore what that looks like to you and how you could take the next step.

Photo Credit: Tim Trad, Unsplash.com